African American Humanist Principles as Ethical Framework: The Religious Right and Doing “Right”

  • Anthony B. Pinn
Part of the Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice book series (BRWT)


Many argue that humanist principles are faulty because they lack both a moral center and the accompanying system of ethics necessary for productive living in this world. I argue that humanism as defined by the principles presented in the introduction to this volume, because of its agenda and concerns, is premised on an undeniable system of ethics and a moral code capable of moving human society in positive ways. This seems perfectly clear to me, but not to others. For example, why do fundamentalists— in the form of the New Religious/Political Right (NRPR)— fail to see this?2 The answer to this question, I believe is found in the very fabric of fundamentalist assertions.


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  1. 3.
    See: Steve Bruce, “The Moral Majority: The politics of Fundamentalism in Secular Society,” in Lionel Caplan, ed., Studies in Religious Fundamentalism (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1987), 177–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 4.
    Stephen D. Johnson and Joseph B. Tamney, ed., The Political Role of Religion in the United States (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1986), 146–148.Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Bruce B. Lawrence, Defenders of God: The Fundamentalist Revolt Against the Modern Age (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1989), 27.Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    Stephen D. Johnson and Joseph B. Tamney, ed., The Political Role of Religion in the United States (Boulder, CO: Westview Press Inc., 1986), 152.Google Scholar
  5. Also see: Walter H. Capps, The New Religious Right: Piety, Patriotism, and Politics (Columbia: University of South Carolina, 1990), 14–15.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    Samuel S. Hill and Dennis E. Owen, The New Religious/Political Right in America (Nashville: Abingdon, 1982), 16–17.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Corliss Lamont, The Philosophy of Humanism (New York: Philosophical Library, 1949); William Ernest Henley, “Invictus.”Google Scholar
  8. 19.
    Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Human Emotions (New York: Carol Publishing Group, 1957, 1990), 51.Google Scholar

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© Anthony B. Pinn 2004

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  • Anthony B. Pinn

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